New video series from the state DOE

Nov. 13, 2012 – State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today unveiled a first-of-its-kind video web series called “Modern Teacher” as part of new statewide campaign to help build community support for public education.

The novel approach is called “Georgia’s Future. Now!”, a movement of forward-thinking educators, supportive communities and business leaders answering the call for help.

“It’s a research-based initiative, born in the classroom – not in the boardroom – with living examples of what works for teachers to prepare all Georgia students for college and careers,” said Superintendent Barge. “It’s time to stop tearing down public education and start building it up. There are many things working well in our public schools – and plenty of things not working well – so we need to rally around the successes and build on those and share them with other schools.”

The web series is a humorous introduction to a serious discussion about statewide initiatives in public education. It will launch in early 2013 on the web and features a full cast of characters who poke fun at themselves and the changes taking place in public education.

The premiere of each episode will be followed by a serious roundtable discussion about some of the state’s primary education initiatives: Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, the new teacher and leader evaluation system, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver and Career Pathways. No tax dollars are being spent on the video web series.

“Things have been tough around public education lately, so perhaps a little humor will relieve the tension,” Dr. Barge said. “It will hopefully open the door to dialogue, create a buzz in our schools, touch your heart and mind while making a point.”

Barge launched “Georgia’s Future. Now!” on Tuesday morning at Twin Rivers Middle School in Buford. He was joined by J. Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent/CEO of Gwinnett County Public Schools; Jim Maran, CEO of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce; Twin Rivers Principal Linda Boyd; and Georgia Teacher of the Year Lauren Eckman.

“This is a positive opportunity to share with people what we’re doing well to prepare kids to be productive citizens who can give back to their communities,” said Dr. Laurie Barron, the National Middle School Principal of the Year, who leads Smokey Road Middle School in Coweta County. “It’s taking all of our approaches, and putting them together in a concerted effort that gets us the goal we’re after.”

Find out more at http://www.gafuturenow.org.

Click here to watch the video.

To receive news and information about GADOE and “Georgia’s Future. Now!” send a blank email to:

join-doenews@list.doe.k12.ga.us

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5 Responses to New video series from the state DOE

  1. Not exactly sure how Barge intends to reconcile the newly calculated GA graduation rates with his plans.

    Get Schooled
    “Feds release new high school grad data using common yardstick; Georgia’s rate is 67 percent, putting us among bottom three.”
    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/11/26/feds-release-new-high-school-grad-data-using-common-yardstick-georgias-rate-is-67-percent/

    Now, worst in the south, and only ahead of Nevada and New Mexico. (Also below Georgia were Washington, D.C., 59 percent, and the Bureau of Indian Education, 61 percent.)

    The U.S. Department of Education has ranked states by their 2010-11 graduation rates, using a new calculation. Georgia ranked near the bottom.

    The top five states:

    Iowa 88%

    Vermont 87%

    Wisconsin 87%

    Indiana 86%

    Nebraska 86%

    The bottom five states:

    Alaska 68%

    Oregon 68%

    Georgia 67%

    New Mexico 63%

    Nevada 62%

    Note: The District of Columbia was at the bottom with 59 percent. There were no rates reported for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma or Puerto Rico.

  2. http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/11/26/feds-release-new-high-school-grad-data-using-common-yardstick-georgias-rate-is-67-percent/

    Eugene Walker, school board chairman in DeKalb County, the third largest school system in Georgia, was disturbed by the state’s ranking.

    “That’s totally unacceptable,” Walker said. “It always surprises me when Georgia is lower than Mississippi and Alabama in anything. It not only surprises me, it disappoints me because we’re much more forward-looking.” . . .

    Walker said he thinks there are numerous causes, from poverty to a history of “social promotion” – passing kids along from grade to grade until they are old enough to drop out. He said parents and administrators must shoulder the blame and it mainly boils down to values.

    “We’ve got to turn the TV off,” Walker said.

    Gene “I see color …” Walker, salaried school board chair for DeKalb County Schools, whose biggest concern seems to be the dollar value of gifts and dinners he can accept, needs to educate himself. Georgia’s graduation rank may be 67.5%, but DeKalb County Schools’ rank is nearly 10 points lower: 58.7%!

    Turn off the TV, Gene? Much more forward-looking, Gene? Why do you think Dunwoody (soon to be followed by Brookhaven and Chamblee) wants its own school system? Put all the property tax dollars in one pot and provide each school system (Unincorporated DeKalb, Dunwoody, Brookhaven/Chamblee) with an equal amount of property tax dollars and state dollars per student. The EPIC FAIL that is DeKalb will continue — not because of poverty or special education students or TV but because of the rampant corruption in DeKalb County Schools, the friends-and-family hiring program (near and dear to your heart) and because of people like you who “see color” instead of excellence and character.

  3. From the comments at the AJC blog:

    I disagree that Georgia’s low graduation rate is due to our special needs or ESOL population. Other states have special education as well and seem to be able to educate their students to graduation.

    Using the Fordham report you cited Maureen, Indiana has 172,095 students with disabilities (total state population of 6.5 million), comparable to Georgia’s 177,070 (total state population of 9.8 million). However, Indiana is in the top 5 states in the new national graduation report and Georgia is in the bottom 5.

    Let’s go shopping for a real reason for Georgia’s poor performance. I would wage a bet that it has more to do with long history of class and racial discrimination than special education. Georgia has a long way to go to take off their rose-colored glasses and admit that they still host an antebellum-style social set up. Ask anybody who is a member at one of the top country clubs if they even know the name of their local public school. The upper crust are not participating in the general level society here. It’s an antiquated social system that serves many quite well, and others, not so well.

    There’s so much more to fix here than simply laying the blame on special ed and ESOL students and then turning a blind eye to the reality that is Georgia.

  4. Gene “I see color …” Walker, salaried school board chair for DeKalb County Schools, whose biggest concern seems to be the dollar value of gifts and dinners he can accept, needs to educate himself. Georgia’s graduation rank may be 67.5%, but DeKalb County Schools’ rank is nearly 10 points lower: 58.7%!

    Turn off the TV, Gene? Much more forward-looking, Gene? Why do you think Dunwoody (soon to be followed by Brookhaven and Chamblee) wants its own school system? Put all the property tax dollars in one pot and provide each school system (Unincorporated DeKalb, Dunwoody, Brookhaven/Chamblee) with an equal amount of property tax dollars and state dollars per student. The EPIC FAIL that is DeKalb will continue — not because of poverty or special education students or TV but because of the rampant corruption in DeKalb County Schools, overseen by you as board chair; the friends-and-family hiring program (near and dear to your heart); and because of people like you who “see color” instead of excellence and character.

  5. Jenn Jones says:

    I’m not sure I get the “Modern Teacher” initiative. If the link at the top of this page to the preview of Modern Teacher is any indication of what to expect from the web series, I’m not sure how that generates support for public education. The teachers in the video are portrayed as bumbling dolts. As a parent of one student in DeKalb County (and eventually three students as they grow and enter the system) with a home school of Idlewood Elementary (a complete, abysmal failure) the web series appears to have nothing to do with addressing the successes or failures of the education system, nor offering solutions, both of which would build support through mere acknowledgment of the issues. It instead attempts to make humor and light of the world of the classroom. Can class be humorous? Of course. But the web series isn’t going to build support for public education with anyone but those already employed in the system. Don’t show me funny anecdotes and skits with teachers bumbling around getting hit with paper airplanes and locking their keys in their cars, Show me the changes you are going to make to educate my kids before I give up and move to Roswell!

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